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Live Blog: A Celebration of the Lives of John Hope & Aurelia Whittington Franklin

11:03 AM The event is running currently behind schedule as guest and visitors still file into the Duke Chapel.

11:05 AM John Whittington Franklin, son of the Franklins, has called the program to order and introduced a soloist from the Fisk Jubilee Singers to sing in honor of his mother.

11:08 AM Members of the Links, Inc., and historical civic organization for black women of which Mrs. Franklin was a member, are preforming a service in her memory.

11:24 AM The Fisk Jubilee Singers are now performing. Both Dr. and Mrs. Franklin attended Fisk.

11:31 AM "John Hope and Aurelia were extraordinary people, a marvelous couple and fantastic team.... My parents created a peaceful home environment that encouraged generosity, learning and public service." — John Whittington Franklin

11:35 AM "Aunt Aurelia had a deep, quiet power and part of her legacy lives with us and the things she loved and shared"— Cynthia Gibbs Wilson, niece of John Hope and Aurelia Franklin.

11:40 AM Emily Mann, director, McCarter Theatre, Princeton, N.J., said that Aurelia was her "heart," John Hope was "like a second father to her" and John Whittington "like the brother she never had."

11:51 AM "We dubbed him the sex symbol of the 30's" — Vivian Mildred Corbett Bailey, speaking of her childhood friend Dr. Franklin.

11:55 AM "John Hope was know for his Bar-B-Que and his Louisiana-style Gumbo and Aurelia made chicken and dumplings the best you ever put a tooth to, if you ever heard that old expression." — Vivian Mildred Corbett Bailey

11:59 AM Eric Pritchard, a violinist from Duke, is performing "Aurelia, In Memoriam" (1999) by T.J. Anderson

12:01 PM James Ketch from The University of North Carolina is performing a Trumpet solo entitled "In Memoriam, John Hope Franklin" (2009) by T.J. Anderson.

12:03 PM Genna Rae McNeil, a professor of history at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is speaking on behalf of all of the students who studied under Dr. Franklin.

12:05 PM "To be a student of John Hope Franklin was to be, form his perspective, at the center of his professional life." — Genna Rae McNeil

12:15 PM Duke professor of African and African America studies Thavolia Glymph speaks of the contributions of Dr. Franklin in the advancement of African Studies in academia.

12:19 PM A Side Note — for those hoping to watch the event on UNC-TV, the network is not currently broadcasting the event of its station.

12:23 PM "Because of [From Slavery to Freedom ], the contributions of black people no longer stands at the back door of American history." — Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, professor, Harvard University and co-author of the 9th edition of "From Slavery to Freedom"

12:35 PM "He never stopped fighting, for equality, fairness and peace.  Aurealia encouraged him every step of the way, and they were locked together…. His wisdowm was invaluable, as were his judgment and wit" — Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans, trustee emerita, Duke University

12:40 PM "Though I did not meet John Hope Franklin until he was 90, I too knew him in his prime. And it was one of the great fortunes I have experienced in my life that he made the path to friendship so easy" — Richard H. Brodhead, president, Duke University

12:52 PM "To measure the life, work, accomplishments and meaning of John Hope Franklin is as if one would take a thible and try to empty the ocean..." — attorney Vernon Jordan

12:53 PM "Something vast and noble has psassed from among us, it is like a mighty oak has fallen leaving an empty and gaping and glaring space against the sky." — Vernon Jordan

12:55 PM "John Hope taught and mentored me as he did so many here in this chapel, at our dining room tables, on numerous telephone calls, at various conferences in between meetings, and one of our best mentor/mentee sessions was in the Atlanta airport eating friend chicken at Pascals’ Brothers restaurant and I can’t recall a time in his presence when I did not learn from him." — Vernon Jordan

12:59 PM A Side Note: The program is being broadcast on UNC-TV's digital cable channel, UNC-NC.

1:00 PM "Vernon, you did everything but pass the plate, there's not much left for me to say." — President Bill Clinton

1:02 PM "He was a man of astonishing dignity, and detmermination who every day just by the way he carried himself reminded of something my grandmother told me as a little boy, which is you cannot be humiliated unless you give someone permission to do it." — President Bill Clinton

1:05 PM "He was a genius at being a passionate rationalist and an angry happy man. A happy angry man." — President Bill Clinton on how Dr. Franklin dealt with racial discourse.

1:11 PM "We are a different country now, we have been working for 10 years to become a communitarian country and his life’s work in no small measure helped produce some of that" — President Bill Clinton

1:17 PM After President Clinton's remarks, John Whittington Franklin invites the Fisk Jubilee Singers up to sing the alma mater of Fisk to end the program.


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